maurice ravel

Said the Sun to the Moon

…said the sun to the moon showcases music written by five 20th century composers all from different countries: France, Wales, Australia, Brazil, and Greece. These composers have written pieces influenced by the mysterious world above in the sky – from fairytales told by a mythical Mother Goose, signs of the zodiac, stars in the night sky, and the image of flying kites in a suburban village.

Maurice Ravel – Ma Mère l’Oye arr. Etherington
William Mathias – Zodiac Trio
Michael Sollis – Fantasy on Orion
Heitor Villa-Lobos – Quintette
Mikis Theodorakis – Η Γειτονιά Τών Αγγέλων (I Yitonia ton Angelon)

1 December 2007 @ Wesley Uniting Church, Canberra

Shadow Puppets

Griffyn’s last concert for 2008 presents three major works of the early 20th century, all of which to some degree are both reflective and critical of the social times in which they were created. Ravel’s Tzigane is a dramatic collage of genre and style, inspired by the European gypsy tradition. Walton’s Façade, with poetry by Edith Sitwell has aquired an almost cult status since it was first performed in 1922, and both textually and musically is a witty critique of Victorian and early 20th century society. László Lajtha is unknown to most Australian musicians and audiences (due primarily to political opression), but in Hungary his work is equal to that of his contemproaries Bartók and Kodály. Marionnettes is a vibrant puppet-like work for harp strings and flute in 4 movements, using the folk traditions that Lajtha was so intent in studying.

Allen Brings – Burlette
Maurice Ravel – Tzigane arr. Sollis
Sir William Walton – Façade
László Lajtha – Marionettes
Jonathan Stephens – String Triptych mvt 2: Poco Lento

21 November 2008 @ CSIRO Discovery Centre

Steeples and Mountains

The Griffyn Ensemble perform in the historic St John’s Anglican Church in Reid (est. 1845).

Highlighting the program is Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une Infant Défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) arranged by Griffyn percussionist Wyana Etherington. Originally written for piano in 1899, the piece was described by Ravel as “an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court,” and has become a much loved piece amongst audiences around the world.

The Ensemble will also be performing works by Canberra composers Miroslav Bukovsky and artistic director Michael Sollis. Bukovsky is at the forefront of jazz in Australia and one of the country’s most talented trumpet players. He recently wrote the Tango-infused Time is Moved for clarinet, cello, and piano which The Griffyn Ensemble has revised with vibraphone instead of piano. The concert will also include two world premieres by Michael Sollis, including a quirky setting for voice and ensemble of Rudyard Kipling’s classic Rikki Tikki Tavi – the story of a snake-killing mongoose from The Jungle Book.

Rounding out the program is Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas’ daringly original Homage to Garcia Lorca, which was written just after Lorca’s death in 1936. The piece, based on Mexican folk-tunes has often been described as a hybrid between Igor Stravinsky and Philip Glass, and is one of Mexico’s most treasured works of music.

Michael Sollis – Popular Piece
Silvestre Revueltas – Homanaje a Federico García Lorca
Miroslav Bukovsky – Time is Moved
Maurice Ravel – Pavane pour une Infante Défunte arr. Etherington
Michael Sollis – The Story of Rikki Tikki Tavi

6-7 November 2009 @ St John’s Anglican Church, Canberra